Dow's star-spangled rally: 10 days too late?

Brendan McDermid/Reuters
Traders working the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday saw the Dow soar 257 points, it's best one-day rise since March.

The shortened July 4 week was nothing to write home about for stocks. US traders sent the major indexes to lows not seen in more than a month.

But Bastille Day week? It's been fantastique, so far.

Since Monday, investors have sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring — up nearly 6 percent — to 8616. That's the index's most bullish three-day run since April. On Wednesday alone, the Dow added 257 points, its best one-day showing in nearly four months.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index and the Nasdaq followed a similar pattern, rising 3.0 and 3.5 percent, respectively, on Wednesday.

That stocks would sizzle on the week of France's independence day and fizzle on our own is probably coincidental. Analysts pointed to strong earnings reports from the likes of Goldman Sachs and Intel as a key driver for investors' euphoria.

But here's a thought. In May, for the time in more than 20 years, the US unemployment rate topped the French rate. Economically speaking, you could argue that the US is the new France.

So how did French stocks do while les Americains were sizzling?

The CAC 40 was up 4.8 percent – its best run since May – after a dismal July 4 week.
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